FIFA 19 Demo PS4 PlayStation 4 1

The FIFA 19 demo has been out since last week to give fans of the FIFA franchise a chance to have a feel of the game before its 29th September release date. It’s worth noting that the demo is an old build and the full version of FIFA 19 will feel more fluid according to the EA Game Changers who were present at the game’s final capture event in Berlin. The release’s core mechanics will remain the same, though, so with all that said here are five things we learned from playing the demo.

Passing is less assisted

A common theme on FIFA 18 was ping-ponging the ball though the middle of the pitch all the way to your opponent’s 18-yard-area with unrealistic accuracy. Whilst ping-ponging the ball has not been completely eliminated from the game, you’ll lose possession of the ball a lot if you don’t aim your passes properly.

The game appears to be set up in such a way that each player’s passing stat matters so much that players with low passing have a very high tendency to misplace a first-time pass, so playing rondo on the pitch with mediocre passers will result in you losing the ball more often than not.

FIFA 19 Demo PS4 PlayStation 4 2

Passes to players out of the ball holder’s line of sight have also been nerfed, so even if you’re controlling Toni Kroos or Kevin de Bruyne, you’ll struggle to make 180˚ passes.

You have greater control over the way your team plays

EA Sports has introduced a more comprehensible tactical system to FIFA 19 which allows you to truly create tactics tailored to your style of play, and that’s not all – the new system also lets you preset tactics for different situations in a match which you can execute by toggling through the game’s mentality menu with the d-pad.

The new tactics screen looks very cool in the demo and also shows you a graphical representation of how every tactical option plays out.

You can really feel the difference between each tactical option, most especially tweaks to ‘Pressure’ and ‘Build-Up’. For instance, if you were to change your pressure setting from ‘Drop Back’ to ‘Constant Pressure’, your players will constantly chase after your opponents in an attempt to pressure them into giving up possession.

FIFA 19 Demo PS4 PlayStation 4 3

Timed finishing should be situational

Timed Finishing is regarded as one of the biggest additions to FIFA 19 due to the increased power and accuracy it gives each perfectly timed shot, but after playing a ton of games with and without it against Legendary difficulty on the demo it’s safe to say that it can be more risky than rewarding if you use it all the time.

Timed Finishing is best used for volleys and long shots as you wouldn’t want to over-complicate a simple finish. Even if you time a shot perfectly in the 18-yard-box you won’t really find much difference between it and a regular shot.

The new flicks are great but...

Making its debut alongside Timed Finishing in FIFA 19 is the new flicks system which allows you to flick the ball up, anywhere on the pitch, with any player by just pressing R3 or flicking the right analogue stick towards any direction.

After trying different types of flicks against the Legendary AI we’ve observed that it’s great for setting up volleys in certain situations, but terrible for trying to go past players while sprinting or juggling. The Bergkamp flick, though, is pretty useful as it lets you flick the ball over players behind you.

FIFA 19 Demo PS4 PlayStation 4 4

Using flicks to set yourself up for a volley will only work amid minimal pressure from your opponent as it becomes quite easy to steal the ball from you if you flick it up directly in front of one or more defenders, so be sure to have ample space around you before trying to score wonder goals with the new flicks.

From the looks of it, the new flicks won’t be used much in a competitive setting due to the specific conditions that must be met in order for it to be useful.

The game is more balanced

In FIFA 18 the feeling of losing a game you should’ve won and winning a game you should’ve lost is very common due to the lack of balanced gameplay and the presence of lucky bounces.

Judging by the FIFA 19 demo, EA appears to have made the game more balanced and reduced the amount of lucky bounces to the barest minimum thus allowing the game to reward you for manually defending.

The effects of most individual stats are glaring, hence you can really feel when a player has high short and long passing, high agility and balance, high jumping and strength, along with high interceptions and standing tackles. Each stat matters now, thus making the game less based on pace.

It’s worth noting that the balance of the game will probably shift in Ultimate Team as FUT managers start to pick up Icons and In-Forms.

Have you tried out the FIFA 19 demo yet? What are your thoughts on the changes so far? Will you be picking up this season's game? Determine whether the grass is greener in the comments section below.